Ryan Ferguson, 7, of Hesperia is one of about 150 children throughout the United States selected to represent his state on Capitol Hill this week to remind Congress and the Administration of the critical need to find better treatments and a cure for a disease they live with every day type 1 diabetes.


Ryan has been named one of the 13 delegates representing California in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's (JDRF) Children's Congress.


These children ages four to 17 and representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia will converge on Washington, D.C., talk about the challenges of living with type 1 diabetes to lawmakers during JDRF's Children's Congress 2011. Joining these children in Washington, D.C. will be seven international delegates traveling from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The international delegates will partner with U.S. delegates to convey a clear message to the U.S. government that diabetes is a global problem that requires a global effort.


The event, held every other summer, will be led by JDRF's International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, and will include Congressional visits by the child delegates and a Senate hearing during which Ms. Moore, select delegates, researchers, and business and community leaders will testify on the need for continued funding for type 1 diabetes research, under the theme of "Promise to Remember Me." This theme serves as a powerful call to lawmakers to remember the struggle of living with type 1 diabetes, and the importance of supporting and funding type 1 diabetes research.


Ryan, who was selected to Children's Congress through JDRF's Inland Empire Chapter in Riverside, was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 16 months old. The day-to-day fight to stay alive is a struggle for him and his family.


As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes.